Sonny Perdue Optimistic of Outright Win for Kemp As Voting Closes

Two hours before polls closed in Georgia, U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue predicted an Election Day win for Georgia Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.

“I think it’s going to be a good night, and I think Brian wins without a runoff,” Perdue said. “We expect good things.”

Perdue and other Georgia Republican Party leaders such as Sen. David Perdue spent time talking to media members in the ballroom of The Classic Center in Athens, where the Kemp Campaign and the Georgia Republican Party are set to hold an election night watch party at 8 p.m., one hour after polls officially close in Georgia. Kemp and other party members are set to speak throughout the night as election results come in.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue listens and responds to questions from a news reporter at the Brian Kemp Election Party at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Perdue was present in a show of support for the gubernatorial candidate, Brian Kemp. (Photo/Hamilton H. Armit, hamilton.armit@gmail.com)

By the end of the night, Perdue expects a celebration in the Classic Center. A Democrat hasn’t held the highest office in Georgia since Perdue ousted Roy Barnes from the position in 2002. Perdue said he believes this year’s Georgia electorate to be mostly unchanged, thanks to a what he describes as a low unemployment rate and growing wages that he says have kept Georgian’s happy with Republican leadership.

“The media nationally has tried to nationalize the race, but what could you not like about the direction of Georgia?” Perdue said. “They want government to work, and frankly government is working for them since President Trump came in. They can see it in their checkbooks and they can see it in their paychecks. That’s why I’m optimistic about people not changing direction. People typically change when they feel stressed and under duress, and I don’t sense that out there.”

Perdue said he believes Kemp will continue the same policies that he believes have made Georgia’s economy successful. Additionally, Perdue believes that a stark contrast between Kemp and Abrams will keep Republicans in the driver’s seat in Georgia.

“I think the contrast is so clear, though. Stacey Abrams is clearly articulate and has clearly articulated a liberal agenda, that I would say is to the left of Bernie Sanders,” Perdue said. “We throw the socialism word around, but that’s really what she’s advocating for is a life of dependency rather than the independence that Brian Kemp will govern for.”

Sam Jones is a graduate student studying journalism.

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